I took an Elk this week with a .30-06 with handloaded Nosler Accubonds. A little about the Elk. It was between 5.5 and 6.5 years old and weighed between 600 and 700 lbs according to the DNR biologist. It was a 6x6.
The handload, 53.5gr of IMR 4350 with a 180gr Nosler Accubond, Winchester Primer seated .03" off the lands. The bullet was traveling approximately 2500 fps.
Two shots taken at 210 yards. First shot was a lung shot. Very small hole on the way in, couldn't hardly get my pinky in it. Blew a 1.5" section of a rib away. Left a tiny pencil thin hole on the off side. Second shot also at 210 yards went in on the right side of the chest, opening another pencil thin hole traveled through the vitals, through the guts and exited just before the rear hind on the right side opening a nickle size hole.
So essentially I felt that there was very little expansion. I would have expected the bullet to expand on the lung shot because it hit a rib and blew a section of it out. Then on the cross the body shot I would have expected no exit wound.
What is your guys take on this type of bullet performance?
Our experience has been quite different but we are pushing them from 300wsm,300 win,and 300 ultra. We have had large wound channels and unfortunatley alot of blood shot. No far shots though longest was 350,closest only 30 yards.I think if you went to 165's the results may be slightly different.
That bullet might be a little better suited in a larger chambering. I would guess the lighter accubond might be a better choice for expansion. Or if you wanted to stay with the 180 the ballistic tip would probably open better. The partition would be a good choice for those ranges and they have a really good track record. I have seen alot of deer and elk shot with the 180 grain accubond and they all preformed well, but they started 630 fps faster.
The last Elk I shot was at 220 yards, and I put one through the shoulder from a 7mm (160 gr. Accubond at 2950 FPS). It went through all the bone and the old girl dropped on the spot. A little earlier I shot a mulie at 165 with the same load, and it literally fell over with out moving its hoofs. In this case there was a small entrance wound (pencil sized), no exit, and NO blood. There was massive organ damage. I'd suggest dropping the weight down a little and driving them faster.
If you like your hunting rifle, you can keep your hunting rifle.
For starters, you are pushing a bullet designed to hold together at speeds over 3000 fps velocity, at only 2500 fps. Second you went through over 2 feet of critter. The bullet will have slowed down a lot by the time it exited. I am actually surprised it exited. I would not expect a large exit from a 30-06 at 200 yards on an elk. If you hit large bones, I could see more damage but not for a lung shot.
Personally, I see no need for premium bullets from a 30-06. Standard bullets will work just fine, cause more trauma, penetrate enough to do the job, and hold up well enough due to moderate velocity.